Saturday Night Live has long been a television staple, an institution of comedy and live performance that has never been matched by another studio or team. And while its cast and writing are not always consistent, it has notched out a place in the culture of America. It is a show which has helped to launch the careers of many comedic cast members, as well as showcase some of the most popular musical guests in the world.
One such musical guest, of course, was the one and only David Bowie. And so, upon word of his recent death from cancer, at the age of 69, the NBC institution known simply as SNL paid tribute to the icon. After all, David Bowie did not just change the way we think about music, but he also helped to transform television.
As one-time cast member, Fred Armisen tells, “When I was in high school and living in Long Island, I stayed up to see David Bowie play on Satuurday Night Live and watching him was, for me, a life-changing experience. David Bowie, whatever space he was in, whatever medium he was using, and that night for me, he transformed television.”
But perhaps moreso than just a music and sketch comedy show, Saturday Night Live is also a sounding board for satirist to launch into diatribes on social issues, political scandal, and the plain and simple weird and quirky situations in which celebrities often find themselves.
This week, of course, was no different. Host Adam Driver—of “Girls” fame, and now Star Wars Episode VIII: The Force Awakens—found himself in the middle of a Star Wars sketch during the opening monologue, which played on his TFA character, Kylo Ren’s, insecurities. The sketch may have involved the new Star Wars character, but the environment more closely resembled that of popular television show: Undercover Boss.
In addition, this week’s episode also satirized Hollywood itself, a bit, with a Golden Globes sketch featuring most of the cast as well as a guest star or two. This was not a live sketch, as it jumped back and forth between footage of the real Awards show and the actors, but altogether this was a magnificently executed way to start the year.